Interviewing….it can be a daunting task that raises up anxieties and insecurities that we haven’t felt in years. The thought of answering questions about our abilities and proving ourselves fit for a coveted position can wreak havoc on our nerves and make us doubt the successful career we’ve built. I, however, come to you with great news — these uncomfortable feelings can all be avoided!
There are a few key steps to setting yourself up for a successful interview and they all surround one main theme — being prepared. If you put in the time to utilize the suggestions below you’ll go into an interview feeling confident, knowledgeable and ready to hit any curve ball that’s thrown at you. Making it to the interview means the interviewer already has confidence that you are the right fit. This is your opportunity not only to prove them right, but to make them realize you are the ONLY possible superstar for the job.
Your first stop is the company’s website to check out their mission, values and goals. Poke around for any white papers, blogs or press releases so you are in the know about their recent activity. Visit LinkedIn and look into the profiles of the folks you will be speaking with and check for mutual connections and commonalities that you can bring up during the interview. If you know someone employed by the company reach out to them and pick their brain about their experiences with the firm. All of this leg work will help you to find some common ground to establish a connection and build rapport with your interviewer.
What are you looking for in your next career move? Think about this and design questions that will help you to understand if this position matches your motives. This is also an opportunity to pull in some of the research you’ve done prior to the conversation…”I understand you are finished with Project A, what is next in line for your team?” Your questions can showcase your knowledge around a particular subject and provide an opportunity for you to steer the conversation in any direction you choose.
Know Your Resume
You would be surprised at the amount of people that don’t know where they worked, when they worked there and who they worked for. Prior to the interview read your resume a few times; review dates, job titles and projects. If it’s a phone interview, have a printed copy in front of you for easy reference. Organize work examples that display your leadership experience, your ability to overcome challenges and times where you have gone above and beyond. Recalling past projects and accomplishments will offer solid examples of your proven experience.
Sell Yourself and Close Strong
You were selected for this interview from a pile of resumes, now it’s time to illustrate exactly why that is. Express how your unique past and current approach can help to add value to their team. Be confident in your answers and if the answer is ever a “No” be sure to provide an alternate skill that you bring to the table. Once you approach the end of the interview be sure to summarize why you are a fit and don’t be afraid to let them know that you want this job!
These tips and tricks are all pretty logical, but following through on your preparation in all of these areas is your key to success. Beyond the actual work examples you gather and questions you prepare you will have one unbeatable attribute and that is confidence. Your confidence will be your biggest ally and help you to shine above the rest. So, next time you get called into an interview for your dream position remember to prepare, cultivate confidence, and heck, shout “I’m a Winner!” into the mirror if you have to! Go get ‘em!